budget-processtimelineThe Capital Regional District (CRD) is required by legislation to develop a financial plan each year that represents operating and capital expenditures for the next five years. These plans provide a longer-term focus regarding the resources required to deliver programs and services needed by the community, and to accomplish Board priorities.

On an annual and ongoing basis, the CRD monitors, reviews and adjusts its plans to ensure they stay relevant and evolve to reflect changes in the organization's strategic priorities as well as operating environment.

The 2020 planning process marks the second year of the 2019-2022 four-year service planning cycle. The four year planning cycle is designed to ensure alignment and implementation of Board strategic objectives during the election term. The 2019-2022 Corporate Plan was prepared earlier this year, to incorporate the new Board strategic and corporate priorities.

Initiatives identified in the Corporate Plan (including Board Priorities) cannot be undertaken without resourcing. The Board determines resourcing through its annual review and approval of financial plans. To support the Board’s decision-making, staff, through the service planning process, provide recommendations on funding, timing and service levels. These are reviewed through the standing committee and commissions and form the basis of the Provisional Budget.

A preliminary budget (the provisional financial plan) is developed before the legislated deadline of March 31 to allow service participants and local rate payers to make recommendations on proposed service levels, revenue requirements and adjustments prior to consideration of final approval by the Board. The provisional financial plan forms the foundation for materials used in public consultation to engage with service participants on service levels and planned spending before final approval.

Under direction provided by the Board, review and recommendation for approval for all local service budgets is delegated to the Electoral Areas Committee (EAC) including the review of Local Service Commission budgets. This process includes a significant amount of work undertaken by many appointed commissioners who volunteer their services in the Southern Gulf Islands, Salt Spring Island, and Juan de Fuca electoral areas.

Commissions and committees receive input leading up to the preparation of all preliminary regional and sub-regional budgets in the form of user statistics, customer satisfaction surveys, advisory body reports, annual operational reports and from a wide variety of public engagement activities. Local and sub-regional commissions may also include rate payer representatives.

Both the Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC) and Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) undertake a financial planning process concurrently with the CRD. Collectively, the financial planning process includes recommendations and direction from over 60 commissions and advisory committees as well as the Capital Regional Hospital District and Capital Region Housing Corporation Board, which are administered by the CRD.

The provisional financial plan is subject to changes as a result of year-end adjustments, payments in lieu of taxes, revised assessment information, and other committee or commission-directed amendments prior to final approval. In addition, the preliminary financial plan is posted online for public review and comment ahead of the final financial plan review and approval process in March of each year.